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NHS trusts hit by drug shortages

One trust in England reported a shortfall of more than 300 different drugs, according to the trade association NHS Providers

28 Mar 2019 by Selina Powell

The deputy chief executive of NHS Providers has detailed a “sharp spike” in drug shortages while appearing on BBC Newsnight

Saffron Cordery said that some trusts had seen shortages of up to 160 different drugs in the past six weeks, compared with 25 to 30 drugs during normal times. “Trusts up and down the country are telling us that they have experienced a sharp spike in shortages of drugs in the past month,” she told the BBC.

“We cannot confirm with absolute certainty that it is Brexit but the timing and unprecedented nature of these shortages suggest a correlation with Brexit preparation,” Ms Cordery added.

The AOP and the General Optical Council have both published guidance on the implications of Brexit for optics.

Current shortages in ophthalmic drugs are published on the Royal College of Ophthalmologist's website.

 A statement from the Royal College highlighted that where drug shortages occur, pharmaceutical companies should work collaboratively with trusts by providing clear information about when production and supply are likely to resume.

“Within an overwhelmed hospital eye service, drug shortages only compound the capacity issues and the unfortunate consequences for patients. We would expect that patients who require urgent care are prioritised when shortages arise,” the statement emphasised.

Image credit: Public Domain Pictures

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